Clip from "Murder She Wrote" (YouTube)

Clip from “Murder She Wrote” (YouTube)

Pioneer rap group NWA has its rise in the music business projected on the big screen in “Straight Outta Compton.” The young lives of Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, MC Ren and DJ Yella are illustrated with scenes from their upbringing on the unforgiving Compton, California, streets to NWA’s formation in the late 1980s. Any fan of “Rap City” on BET or “Yo! MTV Raps” was familiar with their music videos, depicting violent environments that reflected their rhymes and beats and the troubles of youths all over.

Aldis Hodge, from left, as MC Ren, Neil Brown, Jr. as DJ Yella, Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E, O’Shea Jackson, Jr. as Ice Cube and Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, in the film, “"Straight Outta Compton."  (Jaimie Trueblood/Universal Pictures via AP)

Aldis Hodge, from left, as MC Ren, Neil Brown, Jr. as DJ Yella, Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E, O’Shea Jackson, Jr. as Ice Cube and Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, in the film, “”Straight Outta Compton.” (Jaimie Trueblood/Universal Pictures via AP)

Looking at the “Straight Outta Compton” cast members listed at Internet Movie Database, there’s a lack of women in the NWA biopic. There are relatives and some significant others that have small roles in the movie, but there are key people who are missing from the frame. As NWA was making their first records, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube produced solo female acts as part of the fledging empire. Director and Compton native F. Gary Gray and the two rappers, who also serve as the film’s producers, made sure to include some of their best male comrades like Snoop Dogg and Tupac, but there are no signs of the women they helped bring into the music scene.

Here are three influential women who didn’t make the cut:


R&B singer Michel'le (BET)

R&B singer Michel’le (BET)

The songstress with the deep singing voice but speaking with a high pitch was previously engaged to Dr. Dre and married to controversial music mogul Suge Knight. Michel’le appears as a Jackie Kennedy type figure to Dr. Dre’s John F. Kennedy in the 1989 music video “Express Yourself.” She also made her own music, with her 1989 debut album “Michel’le” going double platinum with Eazy-E’s Ruthless Records. In a March 20 interview with The Breakfast Club, from New York’s Power 105.1, Michel’le described the abuse she endured during her six-year relationship with Dr. Dre. She currently appears on the reality show “R&B Divas: Los Angeles” on TV One.


Rapper/actress Yo-Yo appears on the talk show "Mo'Nique." (BET)

Rapper/actress Yo-Yo appears on the talk show “Mo’Nique.” (BET)

The Compton native broke out with anthems like “Can’t Play with My Yo-Yo” with producer and collaborator Ice Cube in 1990 and “Black Pearl” in 1992 long before Spice Girls were promoting girl power. Yo-Yo created songs and a new sound that contradicted hyper-masculine gangsta rap that NWA was making and released positive messages for women. Her rapping success led to acting roles in “Boyz n the Hood” and “Menace II Society” as well as television roles on “Martin” and “The Jamie Foxx Show.”

These days, Yo-Yo’s focus is on an organization promoting the performing arts and academics among young people called the Yo-Yo School of Hip Hop. According to IMDB, she also has two acting roles in the works.

Tairrie B

Eazy-E and Tairrie B on the set of "Murder She Wrote" video.

Eazy-E and Tairrie B on the set of “Murder She Wrote” video.

From Anaheim, California, Tairrie B is one of the first white female rappers in the 1980s and 1990s. Her music video for her 1990 single “Murder She Wrote” is a mix of Madonna’s “Vogue” laced with gangster cliches, but it shows that she can be just as tough as her producer Eazy-E. Tairrie has also accused Dr. Dre of physical abuse during the time she was recording her debut album “Power of a Woman” for newly formed Comptown Records. It was her only rap album with her labelmate. After Eazy-E’s death in 1995, Tairrie switched to alternative rock and metal, fronting various bands.

This year, Tairrie released her first rap album in 25 years titled “Vintage Curses.” With a deeper voice and years of forgiveness, she pays tribute to NWA and her former mentor. In a July 2 interview with the Daily Mail, Tairre shares no hard feelings and sees their impact on her music.

“Their music and lyrics had a significant impact on me, which has resonated for over two decades, much like it has with many people. They put gangster rap on the map and there is a reason NWA are considered a monument and the root of it all which makes their story hugely important.”

Her new album was released on the same day as “Straight Outta Compton” was released in theaters.

The failure to include their stories should come as no surprise following a damaging casting call released last year for the film. The call was for women ages 18-30 who lived in the Los Angeles area during the time of shooting. However, the women were classified and ranked according to skin color, hair and size. In a July 17, 2014 Gawker article, the release described “A Girls” the top of the list, as the “hottest of the hottest” models of any race with real hair and no weave. On the opposite end were the “D Girls” were African-American women who were “medium or dark skin tone” and were “poor, not in good shape.” The casting call, from Sande Alessi Casting, went viral, with Internet users sharing their unfavorable opinions on TMZ and the Huffington Post.

There’s plenty of room for women in hip hop to be well portrayed in movies. While it may not be happening with “Straight Outta Compton,” it’s time for their light to shine in Hollywood.